Stop work-related crime
Recently the news commentary programme Kveikur presented its investigation into work-related crimes with respect to foreign workers. It showed examples of a serious canker in Icelandic society, which is large scale wage theft, serious violations of the safety and working conditions of foreign workers, ill treatment and conduct by companies that can only, in the worst cases, be described as human trafficking within the labour market.
It is important to point out that foreign workers are important contributors to society and that the economic growth we have enjoyed in the past few years is largely driven by their economic contribution. These comrades of ours have a legal and contractual right to enjoy equal terms and other rights as others in the labour market. It is the duty of the trade union movement to make sure that their rights are respected just like those of any other.
The labour movement has in recent years pointed to the harmful development taking place in the Icelandic labour market, which the Kveikur programme revealed. The cases are not just in the tens or hundreds. The violations concern thousands of foreign workers. The Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASI) and its member organisations have countered this development by redoubling their efforts to provide information and perform workplace inspections in order to support these comrades of ours and assist them in claiming their rights. Furthermore, the labour movement fought to have legislation put in place, the most recent being a new act on chain/subcontracting liability.
The success achieved is not nearly enough. We need to send out a clear message to companies and society as a whole that social dumping, work-related crimes áand abuse of foreign employees must be rooted out by all available means. It is in the interest of those comrades of ours. It is the interest of all workers. It is the interest of healthy industries and society as a whole. The responsibility of the authorities and parliament is great.
-ááááááááá Stringent sanctions and fines must be put into law for stealing wages and any other violations of workers. We need legislation on chain/subcontractor liability for the labour market as a whole and an end must be put to Bankruptcy fraud. It must be insured that companies can never benefit from social dumping and work-related crimes and that they will suffer great financial damage from it.
-áááááá We call for a coordinated and tighter network of workplace inspections across the country. This calls for cooperation of all those concerned: the Directorate of Labour, the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health, the Director of Internal Revenue, the municipalities and police as well as the labour movement. Where these take concrete targeted action within specific industries and in specific areas using all measures available to each. Where each case is investigated to the end, violations identified and stopped. Employer associations also bear a responsibility in this respect.
-áááááá Individuals who have suffered violations and want to claim their right must be provided with support and shelter, not just from the labour movement but society as a whole. The examples we have been shown demonstrate that this is of utmost importance.
The Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASI) and its member organisations challenge the authorities and parliament immediately to take up arms with the labour movement.
Let us stop wage theft and violations in the labour market by any means!á
If you have a tip, we refer to the following links:
Eining-Ija is a major trade union providing service in the area of Eyjarfj÷rur, from Siglufj÷rur, Olafsfj÷rur, DalvÝk and Akureyri to GrenivÝk.
The main office is in Akureyri. In addition the union has an office in the town hall of DalvÝk and in Siglufj÷rur plus a person in charge to assist the members in Ëlafsfj÷rur, on HrÝsey and in GrenivÝk. If you need some information don┤t hesitate to contact us.
Main Office Eining-Ija
Skipag÷tu 14 - 600 Akureyri
Opening hours: weekdays 8 - 16.
Phone 460 3600 - Fax 460 3601
Hafnarbraut 5 - 620 DalvÝk
Opening hours: weekdays 10 - 14.
Phone 460 3600 ľ directly 460 3615
Eyrarg÷tu 24b - 580 Fjallabygg/Siglufj÷rur
Opening hours: weekdays 9 - 15.
Phone 460 3600 - directly 460 3620
The union is divided in three departments, food processing and service, trade and technology and community department.
In the food processing and service department are members working:
- In food processing industries like dairies, meat processing or in the slaughterhouse.
- In the cookie and sweets production or in the beverage industry.
- In fish processing and seafood industries.
- In cleaning and kitchen work on the general market.
- At restaurants, hotels and guesthouses.
- At a laundry or dry-cleaner on the general market.
- In farm tourism and for other companies on the sector of tourism.
- For security firms.
In the trade and technology department are members working:
- In the building and construction industry.
- In road construction (except Vegager rÝkisins)
- In concrete production.
- On vehicles, work machines or forklifts.
- At dockyards, at the harbour, in storages and for shipping companies.
- At garages.
- In the textile and leather industry.
- In the chemical production.
- In metal processing.
- In wood processing.
- In recycling.
- Ľ In production of fishing lines and nets.
In the community departemnt are members working:
- For the state.
- For the community.
- For institutions taking care of children, elderly people and people with disabilities.
What is Eining-Ija doing for you?
- Offices throughout the Eyjafj÷rur area and access to the unions staff members.
- Information about duties and rights.
- Information about salary.
- Assistance in checking pay slips.
- Participation in labour agreements and closure of employment contracts.
- Assistance in case of employer┤s bankruptcy, for example collection of salary debts.
- Advice and assistance from a union┤s lawyer if necessary in case of labour law, in case of an accident at work or other judicial problems concerning work.
- Assistance for members and co-workers from other countries, translation and advice.
- Important assistance from the health fund in case of illness or accident.
- Benefits from the health fund.
- Discount and right to use summer houses and holiday homes.á
- Benefits for education.á
- Access to courses organised by the union ľ with discount or for free.
The aim of the health fund is to provide financial help if a member gets sick, if an accident occurs or if a member died. The health fund also works on preventive measures concerning health and safety.áThe board meeting of the health fund is held once a month. Applications for the fund have to be at the office Eining-Ija in Akureyri at least the 27th of each month.
Members can get benefits for example for:
- Cancer prevention
- therapist massage
- in vitro fertilization
- sickness of child or partner
- Fitness sports (lessons and swimming)á
- hearing aid
- funeral expenses
- sessions at a therapist or psychiatrist
- glasses and contact lenses
The union is a member of effective education funds like Landsmennt, RÝkismennt and Sveitamennt. You can apply for benefits if you take lessons.áHave contact to the unionĺs office and get further information about courses, lessons or education in general and the rules you have to follow to have the right to get financial help.áFor further information contact The main office is in Akureyrir, phone 460 3600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The aim of the holiday fund is to support the construction of holiday homes and to make it easier for members to enjoy their holidays.
The aim is achieved by i.a.:
- To pay part of their member┤s costs for summer houses and holiday homes which are owned by the fund or others.
- Organize holiday trips for union┤s members in Iceland and other countries and paying part of the costs.
In the springtime it is possible to apply for summer houses and holiday homes in the summer all over the country. In the winter time are fewer possibilities, but still good summer houses near Akureyri, Illugastair, and flats in ReykjavÝk. Winter term starts 15th of September and ends 1st of June each and every year.
The distribution is done by using a point system to do justice to everyone. Every member gets one point for each month he or she is paying to the Union, not depending on the amount of money. The members with the most points come first. Points are drawn off by renting summer houses or holiday homes during the summer but not in the winter time.
Some useful links:
- AS═ (Confederation of trade unions in Iceland in the private sector and part of the public sector.)
- SGSá(Federation of General and Special workers in Iceland, is a federation of trade unions in the private sector and part of the public sector.)
- The Icelandic Rehabilitation Fund VIRK
- Landsmennt, RÝkismennt, Sveitamennt
- Directorate of Labour
- Multicultural and information Centre
- Al■jˇastofa ß Akureyri -áIntercultural Centre Akureyri